Friday, December 21, 2007
Scuzzbuckets of the Week
The lazy no count Tisdales of Covington.
Kayla Tisdale, who Covington police say is 2 or 3 years old, was found after she knocked on a neighbor's door on East 35th Avenue at about 9:20 a.m., West said. The child, who suffered from ear and upper respiratory infections, was wearing an overfull diaper and thin cotton pajamas, he said.
Officers found a vehicle with a child seat in front of the Tisdales' home and smelled natural gas when they knocked on the door, West said. When Lauren Tisdale answered, she told officers that her daughter was sleeping in bed, he said.
As they searched the home, police found that the living room floor had collapsed, the bedrooms had separated from the rest of the building, electrical wires were exposed and -- despite recent freezing temperatures -- the home was unheated, West said. In addition, the stove was piled with rotting food and piles of trash and dirty clothes, he said.
After a code enforcement inspection, natural gas and electricity were shut off at the home, West said.
much gas had accumulated that West said he felt dizzy as he searched the home. Lauren Tisdale, who told police she is pregnant, and her husband were treated for natural gas inhalation and released from St. Tammany Parish Hospital.
Doctors told police that had the parents been exposed to gas for another half-hour, they would have become comatose, West said.
Both parents were arrested on charges of child desertion and leaving a child in need of care, West said. Both also were booked with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, the second time Adam Tisdale has been charged with the offense.
Both were on probation stemming from "numerous charges" that include burglaries and theft, West said.
"In every case I've worked like this, where a child is in deplorable conditions like this, the child is wonderful," West said. "It breaks my heart."
Kayla Tisdale was turned over to her grandfather after the investigation, West said.
West said that to protect the privacy of the neighbors who found Kayla, he would not release their name or address. But he lauded their generosity, which included feeding and cleaning the girl and dressing her in warm clothing and a clean diaper.
"I'm sure the only thing the little girl is going to remember about this Christmas is the kindness those people did for her today," West said.